Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Your REAL AGE is REAL!

I think most of us have heard of the books and websites that are so popular right now that proclaim to tell us our "REAL" age. There are various questions that are asked of us about our current dietary and health related habits. Things like how often do you smoke, exercise, sleep and what types of food you eat. These books then proceed to give us a "REAL" age that is supposed to make us feel better (or worse) depending upon how you view the information. But in fact, these books are marketed toward getting you to BUY THE BOOK! Sure, the advice in them is for the most part sound and useful. Where I draw the line is when authors are preying on the vulnerable public to sell their wares. Let's face it put the words "younger" on any book or diet and you increase your sales significantly.

Well here is a fact you cannot change: YOU ARE THE AGE YOU ARE and no amount of dieting, lipo, botox, exercising, etc is going to change the fact that you are however old you are in calendar years. Now this does not mean you are not healthier or in better shape, because being healthy and fit is indeed a better way to face life's challenges. And indeed it could help you live longer too! No argument from me there.

However, if you are one of those people constantly trying to fool other people or yourself into thinking you are younger then your birth years reveal by utilizing external methods to do so, then perhaps you are indeed missing the point.  In fact, many people do! I read recently in Newsweek magazine that between 2008 and 2010 while Americans spent far less on entertainment, housing, clothes and food, they increased their spending on  breast augmentation, lipo, eyelid surgery and the biggest increase was 24.4 percent on butt lifts! And one third of those people who are opting for such procedures make less then $30,000 per year. That is indeed a sad testament to our youth and perfection oriented culture where we need to look a certain way in order to be happy.

There is a huge plethora of both women and men spending hours trying to look younger then their birth years. There are some very real reasons for this as evidenced in the movie "The Company Men" where the actor Chris Cooper is laid off along with hundreds of people from his long term position at GTX corporation in Massachusetts. He is over the age of 60 and looks it (as he should) and is told by the outplacement service representative hired to help the employees find new jobs that he should think about dyeing his hair and lose everything on his resume that is prior to 1993. A total and complete denial of everything this man is up to this point in time. You could feel the palpable pain as it registers on the actors face as he realizes the full extent of what he is up against in the already bloated job seeker market. Is it any wonder he becomes so profoundly discouraged when he is cut down so brutally before he even starts his search. Ageism at play in our society, I could say more here, but will save it for a later post.

What I am merely suggesting here today is that youthfulness is so elusive a quality especially when it is based on external sources to obtain it. Reality is reality and no amount of working at it can truly make us younger. So keep this in mind when you run those extra miles, or bench press that extra weight; that you are the age you are and be happy to be living it in better health and optimal condition. Try not to make the goal BE about an age, but about feeling your best and remember NO one no matter who you are can LOOK or FEEL like any age. Ask yourself: what does an age look like exactly? You cannot LOOK an age. You CAN feel better or healthier or more content, but you cannot LOOK an age. It is simply not possible.

You have a choice about whether to focus on feeling good or bad,  but just agree to feel better about being YOU!



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